What was the scope of their involvement?
We had two main goals. We handed QualityLogic the specifications that were in development for the new file format. First goal: QualityLogic needed to develop a set of files, a plot suite, that covered all of the specifications, including the possible variants, the positive and negative clauses, and everything that the specification says. The specifications were very complex with a core module and several extensions. In the end, there were 300 different plots that covered all the specifications. Our proposal was to make sure that our machines were compliant with the specifications. If a machine is going to consume this kind of file format and be considered "compliant with the spec," it needs to accept certain kinds of files and reject other kinds of files. If all the positive cases pass and all the negatives cases fail, we could be sure that we were compliant with the specification.
The second goal was to develop a set of tools so that our team didn’t need to test our machines manually. Every week, there are 300 untested files. QualityLogic developed a set of tools that were automatically able to connect with our machines, send the files, and report the results. The evaluation needed to be formed according to both our quality standards and those of our development team. Every time our development team made a change to the code, they had to make sure that it was compliant with the specifications.
What is the team dynamic?
I had one person that I interfaced with, and I also spoke to a senior engineer. We discussed requirements and technical matters and also budget, scope, etc. I know they had a team of developers and testers behind them, but I only interacted with these two people.
How did you come to work with QualityLogic?
They had worked with my company 15 years ago for another project. We recalled that their work was very good, so we decided to contact them. It was an internal recommendation from a colleague.
How much have you invested with them?
Our initial budget was around $200,000. We expanded the budget a couple of times because we wanted to perfect some tools and add more capabilities with them, to a final of $250,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with QualityLogic in the spring of 2016; the first project is finished and the second project is ongoing. The first set of standards was completed in seven or eight months.